The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have thanked "awe-inspiring" NHS workers for their hard work.
Prince William and his wife Catherine - who are joint royal patrons of NHS Charities Together - praised the efforts of all staff in the health service during another "immensely challenging year", acknowledging how they had been pushed to their limits and were still willing to "put [themselves at risk] amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter distributed via the network of NHS charities associated with every health service trust and health board in the UK, they wrote: "The dedication and commitment of all NHS staff has been awe-inspiring. From frontline nurses, doctors, and porters to those behind the scenes; you have carried on despite the hardship, despite exhaustion and long hours, and despite the emotional toll this pandemic has exacted.
"You have cared for incredibly sick patients and their families, in circumstances made all the more challenging by this virus, and your unending compassion has meant so much in the darkest moments.”
“And you have done it all by putting yourselves at risk and sacrificing time with your own friends and loved ones."
The couple also recognised the efforts that have gone into getting as many coronavirus booster jabs given out as possible over the last few weeks.
They concluded: "And now, as we approach Christmas, you are stepping up once more with the vaccine booster campaign. We know we speak for the entire nation when we say thank you.”
Meanwhile, William recently admitted he wishes he could eradicate COVID-19 and cancer from the world.
Asked what he'd do if he was in charge of Christmas for a day, he said: "I think I'd have to make sure everyone could enjoy it. So we'd have to bring everyone together, have a big party,
"There would definitely be no Covid, and there certainly would be no cancer in the world if I was in charge of Christmas for the day. How's that? Is that a good enough answer?"